Making the decision to drink and drive takes only a second, but a drunk driving arrest or conviction can have life-altering repercussions that linger for years after the offense. Most people are familiar with the short-term ramifications of a DUI charge – license suspension, fines, alcohol treatment and even jail time.

The long-term consequences of a drunk driving conviction, however, can continue even after a driver has paid their fines and served their time. Here are just a few ways a DUI conviction can follow you:

1. Employment background checks

It’s not uncommon for employers to perform at least one type of background screening on their potential employees. A DUI felony or misdemeanor will show up on criminal background checks and can prevent individuals from securing employment. Depending on your career, a DUI could also result in termination from your current position.

2. Higher insurance premiums

Auto insurance providers won’t look too kindly upon a DUI on your driving record, as it suggests you could be a danger to yourself and others on the road. Depending on your charges, your insurance could increase your monthly rates, require that you purchase high-risk insurance or even cancel coverage altogether.

3. Social repercussions

Most people don’t consider how a DUI will affect their social lives, but it can take its toll on that as well. Friends and family may lose respect or trust for you when they learn of your charges, and you may feel shame around losing your license or having to attend treatment. The social consequences of DUI can often be challenging to mend.

The criminal consequences of a DUI can follow a person for years. With so much at stake, speaking with a criminal defense attorney right away may help you to avoid these life-changing repercussions.